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Guilford Dialogues

2024 Guilford Dialogues Conference

Building Strategies for Economic Inclusion 
June 6 & 7 ∙ Guilford College ∙ Greensboro, N.C.

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Speakers | Panel Discussions | Registration & Fees | Lodging | Parking | Contact | Sponsors

The Guilford Dialogues invites leaders from a cross-section of fields, generations, viewpoints, and regions to Guilford College to consider relevant social problems and strategize on values-based solutions.

Join us for the 2024 Guilford Dialogues conference, where thought leaders, community members and change-makers unite to address today's critical challenges. This year, our focus is on Building Strategies for Economic Inclusion, delving into equity, justice, and empowerment, with a special emphasis on bridging divides to shape a more inclusive future for everyone.

From insightful panel discussions to a reentry simulation, the Guilford Dialogues offers a unique opportunity to engage with experts and peers, learn about innovative solutions, and be inspired to drive positive change in your community and beyond. 

Join us in exploring new ideas, fostering meaningful connections, and advancing towards a better, more equitable world.


Economist Raj Chetty Keynotes the Guilford Dialogues Conference

Noted economist Raj Chetty, who has studied equality of opportunity in the United States, will be the keynote speaker for the third Guilford Dialogues conference June 6-7 at Guilford College that is focused on economic inclusion. Read this story

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are being considered now. For more information on how to get involved, contact Ashley Raper, Special Assistant to the President, at 336.316.2055 or


Keynote Speaker: Raj Chetty

Raj Chetty is William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University and the Director of Opportunity Insights, which uses big data to study the science of economic opportunity. Raj’s work has been widely cited in academia, media outlets and policy discussions in the United States and beyond.

Surya Kolluri
Featured Speaker: Surya Kolluri

Surya Kolluri is Head of TIAA Institute and is a thought leader in retirement and healthy aging research. The TIAA Institute conducts cutting-edge research in the areas of financial and longevity literacy, lifetime income, retirement plan design and behavioral finance for higher education and the broader nonprofit sector.

Guilford Dialogues Panel Discussions

Setting the Stage: A Conversation with Community Leaders

Thursday, June 6, 2024 | 8:45 - 9:45 a.m.

Panelist (click name to view bio): Omar Woodard, Audrey Trussel, Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, Hank Smith

As the cornerstone of the Guilford Dialogues conference, this panel sets the stage for a deep dive into building strategies for economic inclusion by engaging directly with community leaders. In this candid and insightful conversation, esteemed leaders from diverse backgrounds and sectors will share their experiences, challenges and successes in fostering economic inclusion within their communities. From grassroots activists to business pioneers and government officials, panelists will offer unique perspectives on the complex interplay between policy, advocacy and community engagement in advancing economic equity. Through lively discussion and interactive dialogue, attendees will gain valuable insights into the local context, emerging trends and collaborative approaches shaping efforts toward inclusive economic development. This panel serves as an inspiring starting point for the conference, highlighting the critical role of community leadership in driving meaningful change and setting the tone for constructive collaboration throughout the event.

Economic Development: Workforce, Training and Job Creation

Thursday, June 6, 2024 | 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Panelists (click name to view bio): Marek Gootman, Dedrik Asante-Muhammad, Sharon Contreras, Fred Henry, Wendy Walker-Fox (moderator), Stephen Sills (moderator)

In the quest for economic inclusion, fostering workforce development, providing effective training and generating sustainable job opportunities are paramount. This panel delves into the intricate dynamics of economic development, focusing on strategies to empower communities through skill enhancement, job creation and equitable access to employment opportunities. Expert speakers will share insights into innovative approaches, successful initiatives and the role of public-private partnerships in fostering economic growth that benefits all members of society. From addressing skills gaps to leveraging technology for training, the panel will explore multifaceted solutions aimed at building a more resilient and inclusive economy, helping attendees gain actionable strategies and best practices for driving economic development and ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of prosperity.

Entrepreneurship: Catalyst for Inclusive Growth 

Thursday, June 6, 2024 | 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Panelists (click name to view bio): Tyrome Smith, Rama Chakaki, Sterling Johnson, Dee Stokes (moderator)

This panel delves into the transformative power of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for inclusive growth in our communities. In this dynamic exchange, entrepreneurs, policymakers, venture capitalists, angel investors and business leaders converge to share invaluable insights and strategies aimed at creating an ecosystem that champions diversity, equity and opportunity. Discover how venture capital and angel investors are actively engaging with underserved communities, fueling entrepreneurial spirit and unlocking new pathways to economic empowerment. Explore innovative approaches to fostering entrepreneurship among underrepresented groups, dismantling barriers to entry and cultivating a supportive environment for small and medium enterprises to thrive. From advocating for inclusive business practices to implementing policies that prioritize diversity and equity, this panel will illuminate the multifaceted role of entrepreneurship in driving social inclusion and economic prosperity. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur seeking guidance, an investor looking to make meaningful contributions, a policymaker shaping the landscape or an advocate for equitable opportunities, this discussion promises valuable perspectives and actionable approaches to harnessing the full potential of entrepreneurship for the benefit of all. 

Aging Together: Building an Inclusive Economy

Thursday, June 6, 2024 | 2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Panelists (click name to view bio): Joyce Rice, Stacey Blyth, Gizelle Clemens (moderator)

This panel will explore the intersection of societal aging and economic inclusivity, focusing on the opportunities and challenges an aging population presents. Our panel of experts will delve into innovative strategies for creating an economy that accommodates older adults' diverse needs and contributions. From employment opportunities and entrepreneurship to access to healthcare and financial security, we will examine key pillars of economic inclusion for our aging population. Additionally, we'll explore the role of intergenerational collaboration and community engagement in fostering a more inclusive society for people of all ages. Whether you're a policymaker, business leader, caregiver or advocate, this discussion offers valuable insights into harnessing the potential of an aging society to drive economic growth and social progress.

Housing: Strategies for a Sustainable and Inclusive Future

Thursday, June 6, 2024 | 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Panelists: Robert Hutchins, Hugh Holston, Stephanie Glenn, Robert Powell, James Cox (moderator)

Discover innovative solutions and collaborative approaches to address our communities' pressing need for sustainable and inclusive housing. In this panel discussion, experts from various fields will explore strategies for creating housing solutions that are socially equitable and economically viable. From affordable housing initiatives and urban planning policies to community development models, we'll examine diverse approaches to promote sustainability and inclusivity in housing. Whether you are a policymaker, urban planner, developer, advocate or community member, this panel offers valuable insights and actionable steps to create housing that meets the needs of all community members and drives positive change in housing practices for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Generational Hand Me Downs: Wealth, Poverty and the Space In Between

Friday, June 7, 2024 | 8:35 - 9:35 a.m.

Panelist (click name to view bio): Aimy Steele, Milagros Russell (moderator)

Our panelists will engage in an insightful discussion that delves into the intricate dynamics of wealth transfer across generations and its impact on socioeconomic disparities. From inherited advantages to systemic barriers, our expert speakers will explore the complexities of intergenerational wealth and poverty, shedding light on the opportunities and challenges for creating a more equitable society. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the intersection of economics, social justice and generational dynamics.

Empowering Futures: The Role of Colleges and Universities in Encouraging Economic Inclusion

Friday, June 7, 2024 | 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Panelist: Hope Williams, Danielle Heider

Our panelists will explore how institutions of higher education can play a pivotal role in fostering economic inclusion and equity. Educators, policymakers and community leaders will examine various strategies colleges and universities employ to support students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, including scholarships, mentorship programs and career development initiatives. We'll also delve into the importance of curriculum diversity, campus resources and partnerships with local communities in creating pathways to economic empowerment. Whether you are a student, faculty member or community stakeholder, this discussion promises valuable insights into the transformative potential of higher education in shaping a more inclusive and equitable society.

Unlocking Potential: Creating an Inclusive Economy for Justice-Impacted Individuals

Friday, June 7, 2024 | 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Panelists (click name to view bio): Heath Brown, Victor Vincent, Rehshetta Wells, Leticia Thomas (moderator)

This panel focuses on the critical intersection of justice reform and economic inclusion, examining strategies to create economic stability and empowerment pathways for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. Despite facing significant barriers to employment and economic participation, justice-impacted individuals possess an untapped potential that, when unlocked, can drive both personal and community-wide prosperity. Through insightful discussions and real-world examples, panelists will explore innovative approaches to breaking down systemic barriers, providing access to education, training and entrepreneurial opportunities, and fostering supportive environments for successful reintegration into society. From advocating for policy reforms to cultivating inclusive workplaces, this panel will address the multifaceted challenges and opportunities in creating an economy where justice-impacted individuals can thrive. By examining these innovative strategies and highlighting successful initiatives, this discussion aims to inspire actionable solutions for fostering economic resilience and reducing recidivism. 

Bronze Dialogues Sponsor
Bronze Dialogues Sponsor
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Guilford Dialogues FAQ

Registration and Fees

Click here to register. Fee includes meals and conference materials.



Parking is available throughout campus, and you do not need a permit. For more information, please refer to this campus parking map.


For more information on how to get involved, contact Ashley Raper, Special Assistant to the President, at 336.316.2055 or